Top Universities Accepting CLEP Exams: Ivies, Private, Public, Community Colleges
The College Board itself says that more than 2,900 colleges and universities in the US accept CLEP exams.
But the CLEP credit policy of each one can vary — an institution can decide which CLEP tests to accept, what CLEP score applicants need in order to receive credit and how many credits students can get per CLEP examination.
The vast majority of American schools that accept CLEP exams are community colleges as well as state and flagship universities, including highly ranked ones. A lot of liberal arts colleges also do. A handful of prestigious private schools honor CLEP, too, although in some instances, only certain departments do so.
Given that not all degree-granting schools in the country accept CLEP exams, it’s a must to determine that the institutions you wish to shortlist award CLEP credits before you sit for any CLEP test.
Read Also: Easiest and Hardest CLEP Exams.
In this post, I will talk about schools where you can take your CLEP scores and get credit, too — so read on!
Do Ivy League Schools Accept CLEP Exams?
Most Ivy League schools do not give college credit for CLEP exams. While a couple of Ivy Leagues accept CLEP, only certain schools or departments honor the program by College Board. Some prestigious institutions with Ivy designations, however, accept CLEP exams.
Some high school students who are planning on attending some of the country’s elite colleges and universities carrying with them college-level courses may be wondering if CLEP tests are accepted by those.
Does Harvard accept CLEP?
Does MIT accept CLEP?
Alas, only 2 out of 8 Ivy League schools accept CLEP examinations: Harvard University and Columbia University.
But before you start sending your application to any of these prominent schools bearing CLEP exam scores, be warned that only the following schools in the said institutions accept and give credit to CLEP:
- Harvard Extension School at Harvard
- Carey Business School and School of Education at Columbia
Needless to say, you will not earn any credit for the CLEP examinations you have taken if you are going to attend Harvard College or Columbia College, which are the undergraduate schools of Harvard and Columbia, respectively.
But it’s a good thing that some colleges and universities in the land may not be members of the 8 Ivy Leagues alright but have earned Ivy designations because of their prestige and reputation.
Ivy designations, however, are considered informal and unofficial, and the lists of schools that have them have changed and can change.
In any case, the following are the schools with Ivy designations that accept CLEP tests:
|Boston College||Hidden Ivy/New Ivy|
|Bucknell University||Hidden Ivy|
|Denison University||Hidden Ivy|
|Franklin & Marshall College||Hidden Ivy|
|Hampton University||Black Ivy|
|Johns Hopkins University (2 schools)||Hidden Ivy|
|Miami University||Public Ivy|
|Michigan State University||Public Ivy|
|Morehouse College||Black Ivy|
|Northwestern University||Hidden Ivy|
|Ohio State University||Public Ivy|
|Pennsylvania State University||Public Ivy|
|Southern Methodist University||Hidden Ivy/Southern Ivy|
|Spelman College||Black Ivy|
|Tuskegee University||Black Ivy|
|Union College||Hidden Ivy|
|University of Arizona||Public Ivy|
|University of Colorado – Boulder||Public Ivy|
|University of Delaware||Public Ivy|
|University of Florida||Public Ivy|
|University of Georgia||Public Ivy|
|University of Iowa||Public Ivy|
|University of Maryland – College Park||Public Ivy|
|University of Michigan||Public Ivy/New Ivy|
|University of Minnesota – Twin Cities||Public Ivy|
|University of Richmond (1 school)||Hidden Ivy|
|University of Rochester (1 school)||Hidden Ivy/New Ivy|
|University of Texas at Austin||Public Ivy/Southern Ivy|
|University of Virginia||Public Ivy/New Ivy/Southern Ivy|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Public Ivy|
|Villanova University||Hidden Ivy|
Highly Ranked Institutions That Accept CLEP Exams
It’s no secret that attending a high-ranking college or university comes with a number of perks.
Having access to top-notch facilities and amenities such as libraries and laboratories is one of them. Another is the wealth of networking opportunities available to the attendees.
But while the list can go on and on, it’s important to bear in mind that, in due course, it’s not where you go to college but what you do in college that will matter when the time comes when you are facing prospective hiring managers and employers.
No matter if the institution is highly-ranked or otherwise, what matters is how you make the most of it.
The following, nonetheless, is a table showing the top 30 colleges and universities included in the Best National University Rankings by US News as well as which ones accept CLEP examinations:
|US News Ranking||University||Accepts CLEP?|
|#2||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||No|
|#3||Harvard University||Harvard Extension School|
|#6||University of Chicago||No|
|#7||Johns Hopkins University||Carey Business School and School of Education|
|#7||University of Pennsylvania||No|
|#9||California Institute of Technology||No|
|#15||Washington University in St. Louis||No|
|#18||Columbia University||Teachers College|
|#18||University of Notre Dame||No|
|#20||University of California, Berkeley||No|
|#21||University of California, Los Angeles||No|
|#22||Carnegie Mellon University||No|
|#25||New York University||No|
|#25||University of Michigan – Ann Arbor||Yes|
|#25||University of Southern California||No|
|#25||University of Virginia||Yes|
|#29||University of Florida||Yes|
|#29||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill School of Government|
Some campuses of certain colleges and universities may accept CLEP exams. Others, meanwhile, may not.
Case in point: the University of North Carolina.
The table above indicates that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill does not honor CLEP. However, many of the University of North Carolina system’s other campuses besides the said flagship school do.
Some of them include those that are in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Pembroke and Wilmington.
Which Liberal Arts Colleges Accept CLEP Exams
High schoolers who are planning on attending liberal arts school with college credits under their belt rejoice!
Because many CLEP exam topics are lower-division courses found in most liberal arts curricula, it’s possible for them to be able to skip introductory courses and head straight to advanced ones through CLEP.
Of course, it’s not enough that they carefully select which CLEP examinations to sit for — it’s also of utmost importance for them to check which liberal arts colleges in the land actually accept CLEP tests.
It’s a good thing that there are many of them around, increasing your chances of earning credits at your top-choice institution.
Here are just 30 of the liberal arts colleges in the country ranked by US News that accept CLEP tests:
|US News Ranking||College||School-wide CLEP Acceptance?|
|#18||University of Richmond||School of Professional & Continuing Studies|
|#40||Franklin & Marshall College||Yes|
|#72||Hobart and William Smith Colleges||Yes|
|#76||New College of Florida||Yes|
|#89||St. Mary’s College of Maryland||Yes|
|#94||College of St. Benedict||Yes|
|#100||Saint Mary’s College||Yes|
|#111||Saint Anselm College||Yes|
|#111||St. Norbert College||Yes|
|#119||Saint Michael’s College||Yes|
|#120||Saint Vincent College||Yes|
Do Community Colleges Accept CLEP Exams?
The vast majority of community colleges in the US accept CLEP exams. Many of them are highly ranked, too. It is said that earning CLEP exam credits may allow students enrolled in associate degree programs to save a total of 1.5 months to 4.5 months — some enter 2-year colleges with 1 year of college-level credits.
It’s not uncommon for some low-income students to work on an associate degree program at a community college before transferring to a 4-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree to save both time and money.
Well, taking CLEP exams may let them save more of their resources.
Fortunately for CLEP test-takers, they can earn credits that can be accepted not only at 4-year institutions but also 2-year ones such as community colleges.
And, more importantly, there are a lot of community colleges in the US that accept CLEP examinations, numerous of which are some of the best of the bunch, too.
Let’s take a look at the top 30 highly ranked community colleges by Niche that gives CLEP credits:
|Niche Ranking||Community College|
|#4||Moraine Park Technical College|
|#7||Southeast Technical College|
|#9||Craven Community College|
|#13||Lakeshore Technical College|
|#14||Lake Area Technical Institute|
|#16||New Mexico Military Institute|
|#17||Renton Technical College|
|#18||Western Technical College|
|#19||North Florida Community College|
|#22||Allan Hancock College|
|#23||Waukesha County Technical College|
|#24||Wallace Community College – Dothan|
|#27||Mt. San Antonio College|
|#28||Alexandria Technical & Community College|
|#29||College of San Mateo|
|#31||Roxbury Community College|
|#32||Nicolet Area Technical College|
|#33||Western Iowa Tech Community College|
|#34||University of South Carolina – Lancaster|
|#36||Holmes Community College|
|#39||Southwest Mississippi Community College|
|#43||North Dakota State College of Science|
|#44||Minnesota State Community and Technical College|
|#48||Texas State Technical College|
|#49||Elgin Community College|
|#50||Wayne Community College|
30 Public Colleges and Universities Accepting CLEP Exams
Compared to private schools, public institutions are generally significantly cheaper.
But you can still lower the cost of a bachelor’s degree at government-funded schools, which totals an average of $102,828 at in-state schools, by taking CLEP exams for topics you already know and earning college credits for them, too.
It’s a good thing that most of the colleges and universities that honor CLEP are public institutions — many of them are flagship and highly-ranked schools, which means that you can earn an undergraduate degree from a reputable alma mater for less.
By taking advantage of CLEP as well as taking AP exams and filling out the FAFSA, the savings can add up!
The following are the top 30 high-ranking public colleges and universities by Niche that accept CLEP exams:
|US NEWS RANKING||UNIVERSITY|
|#2||University of Michigan – Ann Arbor|
|#4||University of Virginia|
|#6||University of Florida|
|#8||University of Texas at Austin|
|#10||University of Georgia|
|#11||University of Wisconsin|
|#13||Florida State University|
|#19||Texas A&M University|
|#22||Ohio State University|
|#23||North Carolina State University|
|#26||University of Pittsburgh|
|#27||University of Minnesota – Twin Cities|
|#29||University of South Florida|
|#30||University of Maryland – College Park|
|#31||Michigan State University|
|#34||Oklahoma State University|
|#36||Michigan Technological University|
|#37||University of Massachusetts – Amherst|
|#38||University of Central Florida|
|#39||University of Iowa|
|#40||University of Utah|
|#41||University of Alabama – Birmingham|
|#42||Arizona State University|
|#44||Florida International University|
|#45||University of Cincinnati|
|#46||Iowa State University|
|#47||University of Mississippi|
|#49||University of South Carolina|
|#50||University of Oklahoma|
Your target high-ranking public institution not included in the list above?
It’s a good idea to head to the CLEP College Credit Policy Search page by the College Board. That’s because some top-notch public schools with various campuses may accept CLEP tests at some of their campuses, while not at others.
For instance, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is ranked #7 in Top Public Universities in America by Niche and #5 in Top Public Schools by US News, does not grant CLEP credits alright.
However, the University of North Carolina Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Pembroke and Wilmington campuses all do.
Which Medical Schools Accept CLEP Credits
Looking for a fast track toward a healthcare-related degree by earning credits in some undergraduate courses?
Then you will be more than happy to know that some medical or medical arts institutions in the land accept CLEP credits for introductory-level college courses, thus shortening the time they need to stay in school.
It’s no secret that seeking a career in the healthcare field usually requires one to spend time in college.
But it’s not just any time that you will need to devote to your studies — it’s a lot of time that you will have to dedicate.
And that is exactly why it’s not uncommon for students at medical or medical arts schools to have to stay in school anywhere from 4 to 8 years.
Unfortunately, plenty of time is not the only necessary investment — you will have to spend a lot of money, too!
As a matter of fact, the average cost of medical school education tuition per year, as of this writing, amounts to $57,574!
With that kind of price tag, you will need all the help you can get to cut the costs.
The good news is that some medical schools and medical arts schools accept CLEP exams, which means that you can lower medical education-related costs by shelling out $90, which is the current CLEP test fee cost.
By earning CLE credits for introductory college courses, you can breeze through your undergraduate studies and head to medical school in no time.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that different medical schools that grant CLEP credits have different policies regarding the matter. As always, do your homework prior to registering for CLEP tests.
Below, you will come across medical and medical arts schools that accept CLEP exams:
|Arnot Ogden Medical Center School of Nursing||Elmira, New York|
|Kettering College of Medical Arts||Dayton, Ohio|
|Medical University of South Carolina||Charleston, South Carolina|
|SUNY Upstate Medical University||Syracuse, New York|
|Ultimate Medical Academy||Clearwater, Florida|
Before You Go…
By now, you understand how much money you can save by taking CLEP tests, and you probably wondering the same thing as I did when I learned about the program – can you get an entire undergraduate degree without even going to college?
Here’s an informative post explaining whether or not you can get a bachelor’s degree only by taking CLEP exams.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.